Text: Psalm 95
I. A critical danger that happens to most Christians is approaching the worship of God by rote.
A. We go through the motions of worship, but our minds are not fully engaged.
1. With their hearts not involved, worship becomes a drudgery
2. We understand intellectually that is not right, but we wonder how do we get our minds past this and start feeling worship
B. I know of no passage of God’s Word where God promises to overwhelm the worshiper with feelings and a passion for worship.
1. Christians can wait from now until Judgment, but it will never swoop down on them from above.
2. The joy of worship must come from within the soul of God’s servant.
II. Too often, people approach the problem from the external
A. In a multi-denominational magazine that I sometimes receive, I found an article titled “Church Meets Disneyland”
1. It seems that in 1999, the First Baptist Church in Springdale, Arkansas, wanted a new vision for its children’s worship center.
2. They hired a designer of children’s amusement park rides and convinced him to design their worship space.
3. For first through third grades, they developed “Toon Town.”
a. “Entering the room is like entering a different world, full of animation, 26-foot tall buildings, puppet stages, lights, bright colors, and video games. The room has pipes that blow out confetti, a water tower bucket that overflows and pours bubbles down on the kids, a prize booth, a firehouse and a hammer that rings a big bell, cars that honk and flash their headlights, an oversized working stoplight, and a TV shop with glowing neon wires and moving satellite dishes. ‘It is almost like going on a ride at Disneyland,’ Hudson says.”
4. For fourth and fifth graders, they have “Space Place”
a. It has an outer space theme.
b. “It features cutting-edge video games, a giant space painting, disco lights, and lots of posters of Christian musicians. ‘It is an environment that our preteens feel comfortable in.’”
5. What happens when the kids get tired of the same old thing? What happens when the paint starts to wear thin?
B. The emphasis is all the physical, but God is a spirit - John 4:21-24
1. Notice that God is seeking worshipers who will worship him in spirit
C. The emphasis is on pleasing men and not on pleasing God - Galatians 1:10
1. Notice that by placing the wrong emphasis, we cease to be servants of God.
III. What is worship?
A. “Too many Christians worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship.”
B. True worship of God doesn’t happen without effort on our part
C. Worship is “an active response to God whereby we declare His worth.”
D. In fact, the word “worship” is a modification of an older word, “worthship.” Worship means “to attribute worth” to something or someone.
1. When we say “he worships his money” or “she worships her grandchildren”, it is a loose usage of the word. However, if the supreme object of worth for him is his money or for her, her grandchildren, then it is an accurate use of the word.
E. A person must work to engage his mind in worship.
IV. The approach to worship
A. Effort to come together - Psalm 95:1-2
1. One doesn’t accidently worship God.
2. One doesn’t attribute worth to a God when we only worship at our convenience or because we didn’t have something more pressing.
3. Even gathering in a location is not enough - I Corinthians 11:17
a. The Corinthians assembled, but in mind were divided - I Corinthians 11:18
b. Their division was evident in their inequity of partaking in the Lord’s Supper - I Corinthians 11:21
4. Coming together mean joining together in one heart and mind
a. The Lord’s Supper is a sharing of the memory of Jesus’ death - I Corinthians 10:16-17
b. The church is one body - I Corinthians 12:12
c. There should be no division - I Corinthians 12:25-27
d. In that unity we are made complete - I Corinthians 1:10
B. Taking on a reverent attitude - Psalm 95:3-5
1. In our minds, we must reflect on the awesomeness of our God
2. Consider our Savior - Colossians 1:11-18
3. The Corinthians did not have Jesus as first place in their hearts when they gathered. They treated their worship of God as a common meal - I Corinthians 11:22, 33-34
4. The awe of the God we come before was missing - Romans 11:33-36
C. Acknowledging the might of God means humbling ourselves before him - Psalms 95:6
1. God wants us in submission to him - James 4:5-10
2. God requires that we walk with him humbly - Micah 6:8
3. God dwells far above us, but also with the humble - Isaiah 57:15
4. The sacrifice to God is a contrite heart - Psalm 51:17
D. Worship of God is taking a personal relationship with Him - Psalm 95:7
1. We must draw near to God as James instructs us.
2. We should not have a distant, arms length relationship with God.
3. As insignificant as we are, as undeserving as we are, God has come to us - Psalm 8:4-6
4. Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren - Hebrews 2:10-11
5. For those who earnestly seek God, God is not ashamed to be called their God - Hebrews 11:16
6. We are God’s people - I Peter 2:9-10
E. Worship means obedience to our God - Psalm 95:7-11
1. We do not want to be like the Israelites who displeased God - Hebrews 3:12-4:2
2. We must apply effort to do so - Hebrews 4:11
3. The greatest show of the worth of our God is when we are obedient to Him - I Samuel 15:22
V. Today is an opportunity to obey our Great Lord.
A. Bring him the worship of your heart
B. Give to him obedient service.